Sea Turtle Death Toll Climbs

As thick oil collects on Gulf of Mexico beaches more sea turtles and dolphins wash ashore in higher numbers than usual. The Gulf is home to 5 of the 7 species of sea turtles.Here is a recap since the BP Deepwater Horizon sand on April 30:By May 9, ten days after the blowout 35 Kemps Ridley sea turtles had washed ashore.By May 19, 162 sea turtles had been found.By May 26, 215 turtles found.By June 3, 253 turtles found.By June 4, 278 turtles found. Most were found washed ashore, either dead or in distress.Twenty-five were capture offshore. Two live turtles were captured and one dead turtle was found in skimming operations.There is some good news. Forty turtles were found heavily oiled, they have been cleaned and are currently in rehab at the Audubon Aquarium outside New Orleans.There have been 30 dead dolphins stranded in the spill area and one live dolphin found that soon died on the beach. Official reports state that only one dolphin had evidence of external oil and the other 30 show no visible evidence of external oil.There have been more strandings than usual and as more oil comes ashore the numbers will continue to grow.Click here to check on “Kathy” a Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle with satellite tracking as she swims around the Gulf of Mexico.

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